Iraq Rejects Israel’s Role in Gulf Mission, Warns of West’s Presence

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim has expressed his country’s opposition to the Israeli regime’s possible involvement in a US-led mission in the Gulf region, warning that the presence of foreign forces, including Western countries, in the strategic water body will be fueling tensions.

  “Iraq rejects the participation of Zionist forces in any military force to secure the passage of ships in the Gulf. The Gulf littoral states can together secure the transit of ships,” Hakim wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Monday, according to Press TV.

  “Iraq is seeking to reduce tension in our region through peaceful negotiations,” he said, warning that “the presence of Western forces in the region will increase tension.”

The remarks came a day after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned that any Israeli presence in the Gulf may result in a war in the region, and that the responsibility for the consequences of such illegal presence lies with the United States and the United Kingdom.

 “The United States and the United Kingdom must assume responsibility for the Zionist regime's illegal presence in the Gulf waters,” IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Sunday.

“Any presence of the Zionist regime in the Gulf waters is illegal, as it may result in war and confrontation in the region,” the top commander warned.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of the US-led coalition to “protect the security of the Gulf.”

Katz claimed that Israel was determined to stop “Iranian entrenchment” in the Middle East region and strengthen Tel Aviv’s relationship with the Gulf countries, Israeli news website Ynet reported.

On August 9, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi highlighted that the Islamic Republic regards possible Israeli presence in a US-led coalition in the Gulf rergion as a clear threat to its national security, and reserves the right to counter it.